War of words: ‘Vetting’ a business idea

15 Jan 2006

Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to make a comment under his blog posts or send him a personal message at member nickname, "Rich," here at StartupNation.

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We often blog about interesting language creeping into the business vocabulary… words like "flesh out," which brought out all the linguaphiles.

Well, this next one we think we resolved without your help. But maybe we’re wrong–that’s for you to comment on.

In this case, the explanation was staring us in the face for many years. You may or may not know this, but we Sloan brothers grew up on a horse farm. Our love of animals has always been a big part of our lives, and Arabian horses have been a particular passion. See the Aria Arabians website to learn more about it.

In any event, this past weekend we were previewing some beautiful Arabian mares in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the gentleman offering the mares indicated that they were "completely vetted."

Just last week, that word, "vetted," had come up in a business planning session we were having. We were in a meeting with our COO, John, brewing up a cool new business. At one point, John said something to the effect, "Yeah, we’re checking into it. We’re going to have everything vetted out by the end of the weekend."

So, standing there in front of those beautiful mares, it was like a light went on when we heard the horseman refer to his mares with the same word. And it illuminated a phrase we never really knew the origin of… until we put our horse minds together with our business minds…

"Vetting" is the process of fully checking out the health and viability of a business, just like what the veterinarian does when he checks out the soundness of a horse.

Case closed!

This word mystery is solved. But the war of words goes on… right? Now that this War of Words blog entry is complete, it’s time to return to business, and make our company a "cash cow."

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